Two dueling ballot measures to change San Francisco’s election system will go in front of the city’s Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. San Francisco’s current ranked-choice voting system allows voters to rank up to three candidates for each elected office, and those with the lowest vote totals are eliminated and their second- and third-place votes are reassigned until someone has a majority of the votes. But the two charter amendments being considered by the board to put on the June ballot are proposing to either overhaul the current system or make small tweaks and keep ranked-choice voting in the city.
The proposal to scuttle the current system, sponsored by Supervisors Sean Elsbernd and Mark Farrell, would set up in its place a non-partisan primary in September of a given election year. If no candidate received 65 percent of the vote for a given office, a run-off would be held in November between the top two candidates, according to the proposal.
The measure is necessary, according to Farrell, who said when the measure was considered by the board’s rules committee on Jan. 26 that the current system is too confusing for voters, particularly those in poorer parts of the city.